What Drives You? || Coach Mark Grande

What Drives You?

My CrossFit Austin family, I am beyond happy to write about motivation/goal setting and why we should choose to make ourselves better through physical fitness. I will start with this simple question for you to ask yourself. What drives you to step through the doors at the gym and put yourself through hell for an hour? Take a moment to really look deep within yourself. I would like you to think past the basics: physical aesthetics, feels good to workout, weight loss, improve health status, and camaraderie. Although these few basic reasons are great, I believe that individuals seek self- improvement on a much deeper level even without their conscious recognition of it. Look at the above mentioned reasons and ask yourself (why?) to a few of them. You may begin to understand the deeper connection to what motivates you. Before I go any further towards helping you discover your hidden drive or motivation, I would like to share why I’m driven to push myself every day.

As many of you know, I have been a lifetime athlete and competitor within sports and academia. However, I have never been more motivated or serious about my health/wellness than I am right now. Last January, I stood at the foot of my father’s hospital bed and witnessed him struggle with tremendous amounts of pain as he just endured his 5th, 12+ hour long, operation due to cancer. I could not bear the sight of my father in so much pain and had to leave the room. As my brothers and I were leaving the hospital, I could think of nothing else but the image of my father writhing around in pain. I decided right then and there that I would do everything in my power to NOT put myself, family, or future family through that type experience. I am driven by the image of my father lying in that hospital bed. I am also driven by each and every person I coach, teach, or train. My goal is to be the best role model I can in support of a healthy lifestyle. Whether I am working out at the gym or in a competition, I will represent what CrossFit Austin expects. That’s enough about me, but I hope you can now begin to see that fitness & wellness is much more than what we see on the surface. We all have the iceberg under the water!

So…I’ll ask again, “what drives you?” Let’s take a deeper look at one of the basic answers I mentioned earlier (weight loss?). Yes, I’m sure you want to look and feel better…but why? If you are on medication due to being overweight, I think that is pretty damn good reason to lose weight and get in shape. Who the hell wants to be told they have to take medicine for the rest of their lives in order to combat illness? I sure don’t, and I hope you feel the same. Would you like to play with your children or be active with your friends/family, but feel limited due to your weight, condition, or mobility? Let THAT feeling drive you! Have you ever been told that you’re too big or out-of-shape to do something? Let THAT feeling drive you! These are just a few examples, but I hope the light bulb is starting to turn-on about how serious motivation is.

I have news for everyone; motivation is NOT an action but rather a raw feeling. Motivation is an emotion that tells us to do one more rep as the clock is 2 seconds away from hitting zero. Motivation is a feeling triggered from the bully or wise-ass way back when. Motivation is the emotion we get as we look at our loved ones, and recognize that we will do whatever possible to be there for them. Lastly, motivation is also the feeling of failure. Yes, I said failure. To quote Arnold Schwarzenegger’s keys to life, “Don’t be afraid to fail.”

Look DEEP within yourself and find your MOTIVATION.

– Coach Mark

Welcome New Members

If you haven’t had a chance to meet these folks yet, we’d like to take a moment to introduce the newest members to the CFA Community. They joined the team in January and we’re happy to have them!

Felicia Arteaga Julie Goforth Tyler Litsch Stuart Osantowski Mike Wallace
Melissa Cha Tere Hernandez Crystal Martinez Nick Piacente Chance Winberry
Lee Perry Dani Hightower Joshua McCathern Alex Reynolds Dara Sliva
Rebekah Cruz Kimberly Joseph Katie Moosman    

Welcome guys! We’re happy to have you on the team!
*If you are a new member and haven’t had your picture taken, please talk to your coach!

March Athlete of The Month: Tariq “Mr.T” Baig!

Each month we spotlight a different CFA athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every WOD, or gets a PR every time they walk in the gym. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, gives their best every time, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Austin Community should be about.

Our March Athlete of the Month is Tariq “Mr. T” Baig! Mr.T is part of the 6:30 am crew where he holds down the fort on a regular basis. He can also be found doing 2-a-days when an Oly class is available. Mr.T has been with us since the early days, starting back in 2011. If you want to lift heavy things with him yourself, come hit up a 6:30 am class or one of the Oly classes. Congratulations Mr.T! We are thrilled to have you as this month’s Athlete of the Month.


mrtState your Name and/or Nickname please:
Mr. T. Outside the box my friends call me P***y….It’s a name I’ve had for years…

Words to live by? “When you feel life out of focus, always return to basic of life……breathing, NO BREATHE, NO LIFE” – Mr. Miyagi

What is your fitness background? I played football in high school. After high school I got fat, slimmed down by going to the “globo gym”, got married and got fat again. Then a good friend told me about crossfit and I’ve been crossfitting since…

How long have you been CrossFitting? A long, long time….since CFA was in the small, small gym. Have you heard of the on-ramp course? Yeah that’s when I joined.

Take us back to your first day of CrossFit… How did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today? Wow….I still pullremember the first day of crossfit like it was yesterday. I puked like three times…thinking to myself, “Damn I haven’t felt like this since two-a-days in football!” I was hooked!!

What’s your favorite part of CrossFit Austin? I would have to say the people and the coaches! Shout out to the 6:30am HOODRATS! The coaching staff here at CFA is pretty amazing. They have played a huge part in getting my technique where it should be.

Current Training Goals/PRs? Since I won March athlete of the month which was my only goal….hahaha….I am training for a half triathlon in September and getting those damn double-unders.

If you could control the playlist, what 3 songs would you play? What song would you ban? We should ask Bradley, cause he figures I know every song from the 80’s. I would ban anything Miley or Bieber.

swimTell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout. When I got my kipping pull-ups…no wait when I got my BUTTERFLY kipping pull-ups.

If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be? Stay at home and sleep WOD

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I play golf A LOT! As much as I play you would think I am decent golfer….but I suck! I just love getting out there and clearing my mind from work and other things.

Tell us something we don’t know about you… I love country music…I have a Cory Morrow tattoo on my right shoulder. I love giving manicures and pedicures! We go out drinking, you pass out and in the morning you wake up with a fresh mani-pedi.

Longhorns or Aggies? What is an Aggie? I bleed BURNT ORANGE!! \m/

Leave the fine folks of CrossFit Austin with some parting words… Friend me on facebook so you can get -bombed. Thanks to LaShea, Dayna, Janss and Coach Adrienne.


Sunday Open Gym – March 1 – 11:00 -12:30

CFA Members: On Sunday, March 1 Coach Leigh will be at CrossFit Austin to complete 15.1 and she’s opening it up to the community for Open Gym time. From 11:00 am to 12:30 pm come knock out 15.1, mobilize, cheer on anyone who’s competing/participating, etc.. This will not be coach led time so if you need someone to judge you, please plan accordingly.

We will keep you posted on future Sunday opportunities!Please register in the Open Gym tab {click here} and plan to wrap things up by 12:30 pm.

Happy 15.1!


Saturday Logistics for 15.1


Whose excited? I know I am after last night incredible turn out for the Open Announcement!

Below I’ve included a run down for how we we’ll operate 15.1 tomorrow. For the TL;DR crowd here are the high points:

1. Sign up for Class now… like 5 minutes ago now.
2. Get here early there will no group warm-up
3. Be ready to judge
4. Know your weights and scaling options.
5. Have Fun

Class Times
We will run 15.1 in the 9 AM and 10 AM classes tomorrow morning. The earlier you sign up for class the more organized everything will be, so do so here asap! THE FIRST HEAT FOR EACH CLASS WILL BEGIN AT 9 AM AND 10 AM. Read that again. This means there will be no group warm-up, you will need to warm-up on your own and should get here appx. 15-20 minute early to do so.

We will run 3 heats of 10 in each class, and the tentative schedule for each heat can be found HERE.  We will group everyone into groups of 3 which means one person will do the workout, one person will judge, and one person will be warming up then we’ll rotate.  I will be updating the heat sheets periodically throughout the day, and tomorrow morning. So if your name doesn’t show up immediately on the heat sheet don’t freak out. Make sure to sign up ASAP to save one of the 30 spots available in each class.

Scaled, or Rx
Notice on the heat sheet you’ll be grouped as Scaled Men (S M), Scaled Women (S W), Rx Men (Rx M), or Rx Women (Rx W). Take a look at the listed scaling option and explanation of the workout HERE and HERE and be prepared to do the variation of the workout you’d like to do. If your listed on the Heat sheet in the wrong scaling option just let us know either by shooting me a quick email (wes@crossfitaustin.com) or when you get to the gym.  Additionally the workout contains a 1 RM Clean and Jerk at the very end, please have a number in mind for that as you will set up your station with the appropriate weight before the workout begins.

Finally make sure you’re patient even if everything falls apart and is a total wreck we’ll make sure everyone gets 15.1 in! Most important have fun!

#HeresToTheWins || Coach Adrienne Rampaul

Welp. It happened.

The first few months of the New Year have come and gone. MARCH IS AROUND THE CORNER! I was inspired the other day by an amazing client. We’ll call her Lizzard. She mentioned something about a competition she has going and that she’s winning. After digging a little deeper, I learned what and who the heck she was talking about.

A little about Lizzard: She and her partner are working with one of our Coaches privately [personal training] with the goal for movement quality and quality of life. They are older clients who’d become sedentary… the comforts of life had just gotten the best of them – they’d become fragile.

Lizzard has achieved so much in her short time working with Coach Garland and is so proud of her accomplishments [earned!]. She can move. She’s motivated to move. She can do things she’s not done in years. She doesn’t hurt. She beams with pride in the fact that she’s ‘winning’ her competition.


Her former self.

Lizzard views her progress, training and goals in terms of competing with “Lizzard of 6 months ago” and “Lizzard of 2 weeks ago”. She PRs regularly and has daily wins.

What. A. Mentality.

As we get into the trenches of month 3 in 2015, with Spring + Summer teasing us just ahead and for many of us, competition season (hello CrossFit Open 2015), our New Year goals may seem to be off somewhere in the distance… or perhaps somewhere behind us (oops! left those in the dust back there somewhere…) perhaps adopting Lizzard’s mentality can help us get back on track and stay hungry. Regular PRs and daily wins are something that we could all use a dose of.

How are you doing compared to the 6-month old version of you? 2-week old version? 2-year old edition?!

Take some time to appreciate who you are today and what you have accomplished. It might be a breath of fresh air compared to that laser-beam focus you have on what you haven’t accomplished. How you are faring compared to another doesn’t pale in comparison to how you are doing compared to your former self. #HeresToTheWins

-Coach Ade

The CrossFit Open is here… What do we do now?

The CrossFit Open officially begins in two days! For some of us that means year 6 of The CrossFit Open and for others it may be your first taste. Today I want to run through some quick logistics for how to navigate The CrossFit Open at CFA!


The Announcements
Workouts are announced live every Thursday at 7 pm central time. Once the workout is announced, 2 high-level CrossFit Athletes then go head-to-head and compete in that workout. We will be hosting a viewing party for the announcements and projecting the event on to our main whiteboard on the following Thursday evenings:

Thursday PM – February 26th
Thursday PM – March 12th
Thursday PM – March 19th
Thursday PM – March 26th

The only exception being Thursday 3/5 (Open WOD 15.2) when the announcement event will be held live here in Austin.

The Workouts
We will be doing the workouts as a gym on Saturdays. This will be a part of our regular group programing throughout the month. Since we do not know the workouts in advance we may have special instructions for Saturday’s classes once the workout is announced, so check the website and Facebook for any special instructions on Fridays. Also, be  sure to reserve yourself a spot in class on Saturdays at either 9 AM or 10 AM. If you can’t make it on a Saturday, you’re free to do the workout anytime during Open Gym.


Official Scores and Judging
To have an officially validated score you must have a judged scorecard. Judges will be provided and available on Saturdays however, if you can’t make it on a Saturday you are responsible for finding your own judge to judge your workout. We will have official scorecards printed and available after the workouts have been announced.


Programming for our group classes will be designed to work with The CrossFit Open workouts each week. My suggestion is to maintain your current training schedule and simply use The CrossFit Open workout as your last workout of the week. We will make sure folks are prepared to do their best throughout the duration of The Open!
And last but not least, remember to have fun! The CrossFit Open is a great time to test yourself and push outside of your comfort zone, but mostly – its a ton of fun!

-Coach Wes

SXSW 2015 Visitors || Drop-in at CrossFit Austin

SXSW is right around the corner and we want to invite all you visiting CrossFitters to join us while you’re in town!

CrossFit Austin offers classes 6 days a week with a wide variety of morning and evening sessions available
{Check out our Schedule}

Located south of downtown
8708 S. Congress, Building C
Austin, TX 78745

If you’re participating in The CrossFit Open, join us on Saturday mornings to complete the weekly WOD!

{Contact Us!}

>>>1-Week Unlimited Pass – $65<<<

{Click Here To Purchase}


Time Is A Valuable Thing || Coach Tim Garland



Time is a Valuable Thing.


I get it, making it to the gym can be difficult. You work 40-60 hours a week and have family obligations on either side of those work hours. There are only 168 hours in week. Understanding this time frame, we have the opportunity to formulate a plan which allows us to attack the week head-on, as we see fit. Again, time is a valuable thing and our higher life priorities get the bulk of that valuable time investment.


Over the next few weeks, I will delve deeper into the valuable aspect of time as it relates to protein intake and results in my following blog posts. Today, I want to shift our focus from time to some different categories of protein, and give us a foundation and common terminology to build upon for the next installment.


Consider this; if you invest your hard-earned money in stocks, bonds and the like…you do so hoping and expecting for a positive gain or return. Hopefully you did your homework to have some understanding as to where you are putting your money. Similarly, if you invest a portion of your monthly budget on supplemental protein, you want a gain or return. That “return on investment” comes in forms such as added muscle size and tone, increased performance and faster recovery to name a few.


Any efforts researching protein or asking questions and conversing with a coach will inevitably lead you to hearing about amino acids and how they are the building block of protein. So, let’s break protein up into a few different categories that use amino acids to distinguish the difference:


 High quality

 Low quality

 Supplemental


High quality protein, also known as complete protein, is considered high quality because of its high biological value. The biologic value is in terms of the unique amino acid pattern similar to that needed by the body. Complete proteins are of animal origin and include chicken, fish, red/white meat and eggs.


Low quality protein, known also as incomplete protein, are of low biological value and deficient in at least one of the essential amino acids. Examples of these proteins are vegetables, grains and beans. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not vilifying these foods whatsoever! Remember, for our purposes, we are examining protein quality.


Complete and incomplete proteins (high and low quality proteins) come from the food sources we eat on a daily basis (hopefully). Now what about my protein shake I drink post workout? This, as referenced above, will be called supplemental protein. As many of you know, the most common form of supplemental protein is whey protein. Any idea why whey? A quick search on the ‘ole Google machine should reveal that it’s a quicker, easily digestible protein, thus jump starting the recovery/rebuilding processes.


Now that we have some base terminology of some different types of proteins (complete, incomplete and supplemental) we can move forward. Next time we will dig deeper, focusing on that valuable time aspect and why it is important as it relates to our supplemental consumption. In the meantime, just like a financial advisor would recommend, let’s diversify our portfolio and make sure our protein is coming from a myriad of sources so we can reap the myriad of benefits.


Stay healthy my friends,
Coach Garland

2015 – The CrossFit Open & The Road to Regionals || Coach Leigh LeGare

We Want YOU!!!

For your participation in the CrossFit 2015 Open


The 2015 Reebok CrossFit Open is upon us! For those who have been here in the past, you’ll attest to this energy filled time contributing to five consecutive action packed Saturdays. Not to mention, it’s my favorite time of the year! For those of you who are new and have no idea what the Open is, let me explain…

The Open is the preliminary qualifier for what we see on TV, the CrossFit Games. It is a world-wide competition, lasting five weeks with a new workout released weekly. Members of CrossFit boxes have the ability to compete against not only their ‘box-mates’ with each workout, but by submitting your score online you can compete with and see how you stand against other all over the world. During this period, the weekly workout will be CFA’s Saturday morning workout. Imagine these mornings with hype music and/or a DJ, a larger presence of our community cheering each other on, tons of chalk clouds from the amount of clapping, and multiple PR’s/higher levels of accomplishment from everyone! ‘Hype City’ at its finest while we fulfill our mission of making it BACK to Regionals for the 6th year in a row!


How does it work? Sounds like way too much fun to be a competition!

The first workout will be released Thursday February 26th by CrossFit HQ. A new one is released each Thursday until March 26th. Once the workout is released, you have until the following Monday (5 pm PT) to complete that workout and submit your weekly score.

NEW!! There are two divisions this year; ‘Rx’ for those interested in competing/furthering their journey and ‘Scaled’ for those who don’t quite have all movements but want to get the best of their experience. Each division will be ranked based on scores. Scores go towards both individual and team scores. However, if you want your score to count towards your team’s score or move onto Regionals as an individual, you must do ALL workouts Rx.


Wait, Leigh, rewind…there are TEAM scores and I can contribute?

YES! Each week, the top 3 gals’ and the top 3 guys’ scores are taken. These six scores and who we pull from may change weekly based on whose wheelhouse that workout is in. One of the workouts may be in your wheelhouse and we’ll need YOUR score to help our cause towards Regionals. Each week, the collective total amongst the six scores determines where we rank regionally (against other teams/boxes) and ultimately where CFA ranks at the end of the 5 weeks. If we make the cut, we’re off to represent CFA at the LIVE Regional venue.

We’ve had a group of individuals training with the sole focus to have a team at Regionals.  We know this year will be increasingly difficult and in previous years have used multiple CF Austinites’ scores to help on our road to Regionals, even if competing at Regionals wasn’t their focus. We’d like to continue this tradition as there are some of you who have skills to contribute to these workouts (cough, cough…Bradley, Janss, Dayna, Doug, Miguel, Cody and many others of CFA…no pressure 😉 ).

Yes, I’ve secretly been watching and would love as many of you to be a part of our journey towards the Games! Besides, regardless of signing up, you’ll be doing these workouts anyway! You might as well register! New to CrossFit and/or CrossFit Austin? Don’t let that deter you from signing up and doing these workouts with the community!!!


This sounds fun, how do I sign up?

Follow the link (below) to register. Fill out appropriate fields and when prompted, choose CrossFit Austin as your ‘affiliate’. Registration is $20 but is fully worth it! REGISTER!!! It takes a village and I’m recruiting!

Join us for an amazing 2015 Open season. Results?! A stronger community and seeing many of you do things you thought you wouldn’t be able to do! If you doubt your efforts, don’t! It’s a great experience and an awesome tradition at CFA to be a part of.

Let’s get CFA to Regionals for the 6th year in a row! #weare1 #roadtoregionals #year6 #ittakesavillage

Coach Leigh

CLICK HERE to register